Neonatal jaundice or neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, is a yellowing of the skin and other tissues of a newborn infant. A bilirubin level of more 5 mg/dL leads to a jaundiced appearance in neonates. In newborns, jaundice is detected either by a blood test taken after 48 hrs. of birth or by blanching the skin with pressure applied by a finger so that it reveals underlying skin and subcutaneous tissue. Jaundiced newborns have yellow discoloration of sclera and yellowing of the face, extending down onto the chest.

Neonatal jaundice can make the newborn sleepy and interfere with feeding. Extreme jaundice can cause permanent brain damage from kernicterus.

In neonates, the yellow discoloration of the skin is first noted in the face and as the bilirubin level rises proceeds caudal to the trunk and then to the extremities. This condition is common in newborns affecting over half (50–60%) of all babies in the first week of life.


In neonates, jaundice tends to develop because of the below

  • The breakdown of fetal hemoglobin as it is replaced with adult hemoglobin and the relatively immature metabolic pathways of the liver, which are unable to conjugate and so excrete bilirubin as quickly as an adult.

How to handle??

  • Phototherapy:

    In the standard form of phototherapy, the baby lies in a bassinet or enclosed plastic crib (incubator) and is exposed to a type of fluorescent light that is absorbed by baby’s skin. During this process, the bilirubin in the baby’s body is changed into another form that can be more easily excreted in the stool and urine.

  • Expose the baby to sunlight:

    Exposing the baby to sunlight before 9am and after 4 pm.

  • Breastfeeding

    the baby is very important for a fast recovery as their metabolism will be adapted to breastmilk other than any other supplement.

  • Other pathological conditions:

    Should be ruled out by investigation. The evaluation for these will include blood work and a variety of diagnostic tests. Prolonged neonatal jaundice is serious and should be followed up p

Postnatal care services are highly recommended for you and your baby’s health. Consult the nearby postnatal baby care service provider for more information regarding baby care. Postnatal assistance for the newborn baby can help in better development and growth of your baby. You can consult Sangopan – postnatal care services in Hyderabad & Bangalore for further assistance.

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